On 23rd of April 2015, Mihai Șucan passed away due to metastatic
cancer caused by RDEB.
5 November 2008, 20:38
One of the most common issues on Linux is font rendering. Usually
the Arial font renders really badly, especially if you use Gnome and you try KDE/Qt
applications (for example Opera).
Gnome and KDE use fontconfig to render fonts, but both use
different settings. As such, if you pick your Gnome-based distro, you usually have
problems with KDE/Qt, and vice-versa.
The Appearance properties (gnome-appearance-properties) allows you
to nicely change the font rendering options. You can also manually
adjust these settings using the gconf-edit tool, just go to the
/desktop/gnome/font_rendering preference keys.
KDE has it's own appearance properties, but usually Gnome users
don't know which one it is, and they don't want to install the
entire KDE package.
To adjust the font rendering options for KDE/Qt applications,
here's what you need to know. You can create a per-user
~/.fonts.conf file, or you can set system-wide settings by editing
/etc/fonts/fonts.conf (and/or /etc/fonts/conf.d).
Download my .fonts.conf
file. Just save this in your home folder and restart your
KDE/Qt applications. I use the same settings in Gnome.
I do not recommend you to edit the /etc/fonts/fonts.conf file.
However, you can still adjust global settings by changing the
symbolic links in /etc/fonts/conf.d. I did that myself.
man fonts.conf for more details.
Note: you might not like my font rendering configuration, because
it also depends on your monitor and screen resolution. Please
adjust the settings as needed.
6 September 2006, 18:54
One of the first steps, and most likely the easiest, in making KDE
and GNOME seem consistent is getting both of them have the same
I simply don't understand (somebody explain to me please) why is
Kubuntu required to have a completely different theme than Ubuntu?
Seriously, guys, if you really want that, then no problem: Kubuntu
blue and Ubuntu orange. BUT at least take the time and provide both
of the themes so we can select the one we want in the theme
managers of both DEs.
I personally favour Ubuntu's theme. I can't get get KDE apps to
look exactly as those in GNOME. I switched to polyester, I applied
my own color theme (the Ubuntu colors available on kde-look suck, and that's nicely said -
I had to make mine). The biggest problem is changing the icons. I
believed this should be easy: in kcontrol I find the icon set named
Human. Yes, it changes most of the icons, but the most obvious ones
are still the blue KDE Crystal: file icons - and some others :).
Again, KDE-Look provides amateurish Human iconsets for KDE which
don't even properly work.
Oh and for those wondering: somebody cannot live in a GNOME-only
box, or KDE-only box. It's not going to happen, not today, not
Hint: this is not a "job" that needs to be done by
neither of the DE teams. It's the "job" of the distro guys.
Making the orange theme the default in Kubuntu would be awesome,
not because of the theme itself - I'd say the same if Ubuntu would
use by default the Kubuntu theme.
Bonus suggestion: while they are at it, they
should configure the default behaviour of KDE to match the one of
GNOME (or vice-versa).
Summary of the post: get the GNOME theme on KDE,
and get the KDE theme on GNOME. It's easy, it's doable, both DEs
are capable of it.
P.S. I don't like the purple theme in Kubuntu Edgy Eft.
17 June 2006, 15:56
Yet another blog post about KDE and Gnome. You've all been waiting
for this one. :)
First of all, I use Gnome 2.14 and I have some parts of KDE 3.5.3
installed too. Why? Gnome seems to be better glued together and
more professional, feels less bloated and it also feels faster. I
say it only feels so, because I haven't done any real tests.
KDE got some real goodies like Quanta Plus which is probably the
best web programmers editor I've used. Given it's free ... I'd say
it's amazing. I've seen loads of shareware editors that have far
less features (for Windows of course).
KDE TV was also my favourite TV application since it's really good
for all my TV viewing needs (it does have the deinterlace filter :)
). However, since then I switched to tvtime, because I find it
faster and better in some ways (too bad I can't configure it too
much, it's very minimalistic).
I was pleasantly surprised by Konqueror (as a web browser). I've
never knew it's so powerful. Much better than IE. Too bad it's very
little known. I am aware it's not a browser as capable as Opera or
Firefox, but it's very good (it can properly render all the CSS
layout sites I have).
Nicest surprise to KDE was KTTS. Nice stuff guys. Just one
suggestion: add a global shortcut for reading the clipboard.
KolourPaint is my choice for simple image editing (GIMP is too
advanced/different for me ... even if I am used to Photoshop).
Kig and Kseg are two educational packages worth the time spent by
their respective authors on development. Meaning Kseg is a very
cool dynamic geometry software, but it's not as complete as Kig.
Kig, IMHO, will become my primary tool for dynamic geometry. It's
very, very good and advanced. Yet, I still need to learn some of
its capabilities. :)
Amarok is the music player. Much better than
Winamp and all others. I've tested Rythmbox, Banshee, juK and other
music players. None comes close to Amarok, which is feature packed
and nonetheless it's fast enough. Don't expect it to be as fast as
XMMS, but it's faster than Banshee and Rythmbox which are the two
music players receiving most attention. Amarok has a very good
collection, tagging with online database, automatic scoring of
songs you listen most, it also picks similar songs recommended by
Last.fm. You can automatically search for lyrics, for artist
information, similar artists, etc. The context browser is very
nice, because it automatically shows songs you are most likely to
be interested of (favourites, new additions, songs from the same
album, same artist, etc). Other goodies includes are cover
management (automatically finds the cover online), Python
extensions (web control and more), nice customizable OSD and lots
more. Simply put, amarok is the best player. It doesn't crash, it
got a very fast collection search and analizer. Rythmbox and
Banshee both crashed when scanning my songs, LOL.
The funniest part in KDE is ... guess what? Image viewers. Amusing,
huh? Most KDE image viewers suck big time. They are even worse than
the worst image viewer I've ever seen on Windows. There you go,
I've said it. Shocking statement? I'd say it's a shocking fact on
my Ubuntu 6.06 install (and Ubuntu 5.10): just loading an image of
lets say 800x600 in Kview (or KuickShow, whatever) and zooming to
400% sends the system to hell :). Memory usage increases a lot and
the virtual memory is required, so the HDD activity raises like I'm
copying several files on the network at once (it even slows down
mouse movements). I suppose it's because the 400% zoomed image is
way too big to hold it all in the memory :). Veeery efficient code.
If this caused by the Ubuntu distro, then ... this is the worst
thing Ubuntu has.
Worth noting is the problem doesn't apply to KolourPaint, which
most likely uses a different library.
Here comes the irony: KDE image viewers have better support for
image formats. I wasn't able to view some BMP images with any of
the Gnome image viewer (GQView, Gthumb and EOG). Also, I wasn't
able to see any PSD image, only KDE supports them. :)
So, my default image viewer is Gthumb and besides it I also have
Kview. I removed all the other image viewers.
The latest Kopete seems to be a very attractive alternative to
Gaim. I simply enjoyed "hacking" into the XSLT files to change the
display of the conversation. I also like it has notifications, and
more options. What made me not to use Kopete: it's
underdeveloped. Anyway, Kopete is still in its infancy.
Both desktop environments are not professional and fast enough.
They should also follow stricter guidelines, making them look more
I like the panels, the applets, menus editing, the multiple
desktops/workspaces environment, the keyboard configuration
(accessibility, layouts and variants). These are things Windows
should get too, just like it should get proper permissions per file
and symbolic links. Windows is actually a very weak desktop
environment compared to KDE and Gnome.
Gnome 2.14 has noticeable speed improvements. As far as I know,
it's going to get more speed improvements for version 2.16. I like
that. KDE 4 is going to be interesting, but I have a "hunch": it's
going to be buggy, since they make big changes.
I like the idea of KDE: having a single keyboard shortcuts editor
in all applications, a single toolbar editor, menu editor, etc. I
also seem to like the idea of KNotify with it's integration with
As for customization, KDE is the clear "winner". I like I can
easily customize the themes and everything I want in a single
place: KDE Control Center. Yes, I know it's hatable, but it's also
good. The themes in KDE seems to be more flexible than the ones in
What I dislike when I am in Gnome, if I start KDE applications, I'm
seeing KDE, not Gnome. I know it's normal, because they depend upon
the KDE packages, but there should be more interoperability. Why
not use the Gnome keyboard shortcuts editor when in Gnome? Why not
use the Gnome widgets (and more stuff)? Same goes for when I am in
KDE: I see Gnome stuff.
It's all about consistency. Is that too much to ask for? :)
Projects like Tango Desktop
Project, LSB and Portland are
very good because they help with consistency. I'm glad the latest
Ubuntu uses the Tango icons.
KDE and Gnome also play the "catch-up with Windows" game Windows
functionality, just like OpenOffice seems to do with Microsoft
Office. Microsoft will always be one step ahead, because they are
currently modifying the rules of the game with Microsoft Office,
Windows Vista and more.
Why not be a bit different? Why not bring something new and better?
Thanks to Microsoft, alternative web browsers (Opera, Firefox,
Safari, Konqueror) had enough time to go miles ahead of Internet
KDE and Gnome had the same amount of time... and the heads of these
desktop environments decided upon using the allocated time to
catch-up with Windows. They almost did. :)
KDE 4 received some good press, mostly hype currently (IMHO), about
bringing new stuff to the table, about innovation (Plasma,
whatever). That's nice. I'd be glad if they'll succeed.
Another thing I do not like, specially in regards to KDE: they
include a huge amount of packages. Come on, keep the desktop
environment only. Gnome is sticking to Epiphany, which is, with all
due respect, yet-another Gecko browser. Seriously, why would I
switch to Epiphany? Both desktop environments should be bare bones.
The other packages should only be optional, just like
Konqueror, as a file manager this time, is more feature packed than
Nautilius. However, I'm in favour for the simplicity offered by
The overall conclusion is both desktop environments are powerful,
each having its own strengths and weaknesses. I am very well aware
most of the ideas have already been expressed before by others, yet
I think the more people voice their opinions the closer we'll get
to this happening (consistency, blah, blah). Those in charge of the
development of these two great desktop environments will take into
consideration what the majority says.